Tag Archive: restored by love


What is Love?

As the leader of a ministry that reaches out to hurting women, many of which have been abused by people who claimed to love them, I was not surprised recently when I was asked…”What is love?” I thought the best way to understand what love is, is to go to God’s Word and see what it says about love.

What true love is NOT:

  • Love is not just words or a feeling but requires action (love lived out) – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
  • Love is not boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, unforgiving, slanderous (speaks falsely of another), without self-control, brutal (hateful), etc. – People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:2-5

    So if genuine godly love is none of those things. What is love?

  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
  • Love Serves Others – You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
  • Love is Selfless – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
  • Love is humble, gentle, and patient – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
  • Love obeys God – And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6
  • Our love for others should ultimately be God-focused – Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Perhaps you’ve asked…Does God really love me? Isn’t God just out to trip me up and watch me fail? Does He really understand what I’ve been through? How do I know? Have you ever had this thought run through your mind, “I’m not good enough for God to love me?” Oh there is so much wrong with that statement. First, God’s love doesn’t depend on who you are, what you have done, or what’s been done to you. God’s love is solely dependent on His character. God is love. He proved His love by sending His Son to die for YOU!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Let’s check out some characteristics about God’s love.

God’s love is…

  • Unfailing  – But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
  • Extravagant – Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
  • Priceless – How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
  • Merciful – Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. Psalm 40:11
  • Just – I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise. Psalm 101:1
  • Patient – But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
  • Everlasting – For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
  • Satisfying – Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14
  • Good – But you, Sovereign LORD, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. Psalm 109:21
  • Selfless – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
  • Parental (He disciplines His Children out of love) – because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Hebrews 12:6
  • Unrelenting – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35,37-39

You can’t hide from the love of God. You can run sure, but God is always at your side. If you have been abused by someone, you’re idea of love may be corrupted. Now you know the truth! Walk in that truth! And know that God loves you because you are His creation! I encourage you to read Psalm 139, I’ve included a portion below:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If you would like to explore this issue more with me or have any questions. I’d love to speak with you. Please get in touch with me by emailing me at restoredbyloveministries@gmail.com. There is no greater passion in my heart, than for you to know the love of God and live it out in your life! 

My prayer for you:

I pray that out of His glorious
riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the
saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and
to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19

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This blog is a reflection of a song by Chris Tomlin. Marzani has an important message to share as she gives her testimony of how this song has touched her life in a special way. She gives her insights and challenges us to live a life basking in the glory of God. I hope this post will be a blessing to you today and a challenge to you as well.

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And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

These two lines keep repeating in my head, and maybe a few months ago, that’s where it would stop, but this morning it’s moved to my heart, deeper, more meaningful…freeing…so deep that every word touch my soul. These two lines of an ordinary song-to most-is what I made my life-rope today. Yes, ordinary song –the foundation that I CHOOSE for how I’m going to live today…for EVER!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us…?
To me this first 7 words holds the biggest ‘power’ ever given to us…well in my heart I would change the word ‘power’ to ‘life’, but to see it we would have to know who God is, and NO I don’t mean know about church, the ten Commandments, I’m not even talking about Christianity ! If I would hide your Bible and ask you, “Who is God to you?” what would you answer…? Easy Question…maybe, but it’s the question with the most dangerous answer, cause how you see God determines how you live, it determines your Happiness, Success, Significance, Fulfillment, Satisfaction, Security, Peace and Fun. If you can’t answer, ALL these things will be messed up in your life…short lived, meaningless, empty!

Growing up in church, with a Pastor for a Dad ,made me think of God as the One who made the earth, send us His one and only Son to die for our sins on the cross, raised up from death after three days and went back to heaven to prepare a place for His children and He will come back again one day to get all who believed in Him…for 17 years that was my answer to the question, “who is God?” I mean come on, I’ve heard it for 17 years!! So I ‘knew’ who God is, and yea He was ‘for’ me, but wow how many things ‘stopped’ me!! Things, people ‘stopped’ me to the point that I hated this God who was suppose to be ‘for’ me, yes . I didn’t want to have ANYTHING to do with Him!!! People lied to me enough, hurt and ripped apart I didn’t need a God lying to me too!! So I let go, I let go of the ‘wonderful bedtime story’ (as I saw it) told in church about a God who died for me and for my sins, cause wasn’t lying a sin? And if so then how could a God that lie, forgive sin.” Yes, that was my thoughts for 6 years, and maybe I could keep on pretending being the “perfect pastor’s daughter’ but I can’t cause I’ve ‘met’ God and He renewed my life, when God is your life, you can’t hide behind a mask no more, you can’t go on being fake, cause while being fake at least 20 THOUSAND people over the world die each day, not knowing God!!

So did God lie, maybe many people would want me answering ‘yes’ to this, cause then letting go is easy, but NO , NO GOD DID NOT LIE!!! GOD is WITHOUT SIN, but then again it wasn’t always mentioned in the ‘church story’, friends share just to get to the next topic on shoes or boyfriends. So if God didn’t lie, and He is for us all who believe in Him, and NOTHING can get us down, what did I do wrong? Or maybe you ask yourself “what am I doing wrong? Why does sooo many things get me down, why am all my dreams, happiness, fun, peace so easily ‘stopped’? WHERE is this GOD who is for me?”

Well He is WITH YOU, UNDER You, BEHIND you, ABOVE you, and if you accepted Him into your life , He lives IN you!! the question is not “where is God’ It is, “Does I understand or at least seek WHO God is?” all that I believed for 17 years , heard in church, it is not WHO GOD IS!!! it’s WHAT GOD HAD DONE…! The wonderful truth about how God send His one and only Son to die on a cross , raised from the death and coming again, that is what God has done and promise to do, cause of WHO God is!!

When you starts to seek WHO God is, you can truly have a relationship with Him, He becomes your best friend, healer, counselor, Dad, guide, King…I believe, have found and declares that when you begin to seek God for who He is, when you begin to know how God sees YOU, I can PROMISE you that NOTHING, NO ONE can stop you, and when you work on your relationship with God , WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HIM, just like you would ‘study’ a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife’s dislikes, likes , dreams , hopes , I promise you’ll see that God really is with you in every breath you take, and you’ll find NOTHING, NO ONE could stand against you!

I wondered, “what’s the toughest thing God ever tried to do?” What do you think was the toughest thing God ever tried to do?

Maybe this answer given by a 10 year old boy is right… “In science class at school, I thought maybe the toughest thing God had to do was create the world. Then in Sunday school we got to talking about miracles, and I thought maybe the Resurrection of Jesus was the toughest thing. But then I started thinking, and I decided no one knows God really well. So now I think the toughest thing God ever tried to do, is to get us to understand who He is and that He loves us…And it took God’s Son to do it…”

God let His son be nailed to a cross not only to forgive us our sin, not only so that when we are hurt, God can whisper, “I understand” but God let Jesus be nailed to a cross to open a way for us to get to know the LOVE God has for everyone of us, He let Jesus die, to open a way for us , so that we could learn WHO God really is …Jesus died for you, He was bruised, bled, killed to help you get to know His Father…would you really turn this ‘died-for’ opportunity down…?

I pray that you will start today to seek who God really is, get to know Him yourself, learn how much He loves you, cares for you… I dare you to open the Bible, get on your knees and let God introduce Himself to you…

“And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

Pretend you are sitting in a seminary class for Introduction to Biblical Theology. Pretend you are discussing a great deal about sharing/teaching transformation to an individual or un-believer. Pretend not only does this class teach you about the growth of transformation in others but it’s a great deal about making sure YOUR transformation is unique, big, glorious and very image filled in Christ.

Now watch as the Professor tells you to look down around your chair and imagine a white circle outlining a chair.  I imagined right away the chalk line around a dead body.  That was my reality because I know what a dead life without looks like without transformation in Christ, I know it ALL too well.  The Professor says, “Who’s responsible for the person inside the circle? Stop being the victim and blaming others due to yourself!”

 There was no pretending in this statement, this was happening in my reality.  Although it was a statement to the entire room, I really thought he was talking directly to me.  How many times recently have I said that it’s someone else’s fault because of something crappy happening to me or it’s not my attitude or behavior at fault for how I’m treated?  More times than I care to recall.  I seem to be putting a frown to unfairness instead of stepping up and fighting for who I am and what I am as a Christian.  Instead of taking on my armor I am keeping my armor in my purse and not wearing it, heck most times I leave it at home and become the victim!  A person needs both freedom from sin and freedom for righteous and just behavior!  I need to get rid of the sin because there is so much more growing for me to do, sin is fun, oh yes it is, but freedom is amazing, oh yes it is!!!!!!!!  It takes ongoing everyday sacrifice. I know I keep crawling off the altar, I’m human in this broken world, I know it.  And yet I keep stepping off the altar, it’s a jump, hop, skip type deal.  Some days I’m sure I sneak off the altar, thinking God won’t notice.  

 My life is only going to get under control with a relationship with God. Guard that relationship!  I want to act justly as a reflection of God.  Loving God and loving man is the process I am under.  My intention is to be open to what God brings, to be open to the Holy Spirits activity. 

 What do you want God to do with you?   

 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:11-14 (New International Version)

On Grace by Dawn

Below you will find Dawn’s testimony of God’s grace displayed in her life through her struggle and freedom from an eating disorder. I hope that you will find hope in her story and peace in knowing that God’s grace is most assuredly sufficient for YOU!
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God Loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus that I may live… now and always by grace. How can I not sit back and look at my life and not just wonder, in shock, at what God has done and continues to do? I am so thankful that at the end of the day no situation or challenge can change the goodness of the Lord.

For three years I have walked with Him. Three years ago He held the end of the rope that pulled me out of the pit of death and into His shadow of light.  My testimony is posted on a website and this is part of a comment that someone left…. Like the “dawning of a new day” – your testimony heralds the beauty – the sheer wonder of being new in Christ – the old is past; behold all things become new – Oh what a blessing – may the LORD your King continue to use you mightily like a trumpet, to compel all to “Come, dance with our King!”

Use you …Use me….Hear I am, Lord….How many times have I said that to my Daddy? I’m always asking Him to use this Freedom Walker, to use this girl now three years out of brokenness and three years into the light. This past year has been different than the first two years, there were more days, than I have ever admitted to anyone, that I really didn’t want Freedom anymore, that I wanted to throw it all away and seek the guise of thinness. I know the answer to how all these thoughts started? Something so simple….busyness. I got so busy that I didn’t make even small moments of time to spend with my Daddy, He got pushed to the wayside and when the overwhelming feelings of life came I didn’t have the Truth to stand on to fight. Instead I decided I wanted to fight myself and fight my body for control over what I felt like was an out-of-control life. And let’s just say that putting my walls down to seek out the Truth, in the words of wise counsel, was really, really hard. But I had to do it. I had left that struggle in the past.

But hear me….it is a choice. In my life I had to change that I was Supposed to walk in Freedom to Wanting to walk in Freedom. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth, so instead of fighting my body I wake each morning choosing to walk in Victory. Walk out my Freedom! I will not let the mirror or the world define me, but I shall speak the Truth of God’s Word. I WILL LOVE ME; I will surrender myself into the hands of my Father, who will equip me for battle. Too often I, still more than I want to admit, measure my beauty by a number. He has already declared me BEAUTIFUL, His chosen and beloved daughter, the one He intimately wants to know and love me beyond any love that I can seek here on earth. I will continue to fight the lies that tie up my thoughts, I know the TRUTH, and I can speak it! The real battle is making sure my Truth doesn’t fall on my own deaf ears and understand that it isn’t always about those around me hearing the Truth but I need to make sure I’m still hearing it myself.

“If you hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.” Psalm 91:14, The Message.

Dear Father,

What a journey this has been and I am truly in awe of all you are continually doing in me. One day with you is better then a thousand elsewhere. I know you are good and that knowing you intimately has transformed my life. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

I am totally blog stealing but I couldn’t help it after reading about this idea. I was recently reading this blog about the song by Taylor Swift called “Fifteen”. Do you ever wonder what you wished you knew at 15 that you sure didn’t know!? Well I decided to make my own little list of what I didn’t know at 15 that I wish I did.

When all you wanted was to be wanted. Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now.

•That foolishness can be overcome.
•That your past can be redeemed and God will transform your past into the most beautiful future.
•That worrying about the size of your thighs will never get you a job but sure can make you lose your job.
•That I’m a Princess.
•That beauty is lending a helping hand.
•That my heart is sensitive and that it will serve me and others well.
•That being single is a gift.
•That being shy makes you wise counsel.
•That Freedom is the best thing ever and I will well up in tears every time I share my story.
•That time really does heal.
•That God would mend my broken heart and reside in all the pieces.
•That I was made for so much more.
•That friendship comes in seasons.
•That my future is already planned out, I just have to walk through it.
•That I’m loved more than I can even comprehend.
•That being approved by man means nothing, I’m already approved by God.
•That embarrassment doesn’t ever end my day.
•That I’m writing my legacy every single second I spend in the presence of my Father.
•That people really don’t notice how much I weigh.
•That people notice what’s in my heart.
•That my broken life can be made beautiful, there’s beauty in the breaking.
•That God has me written on His palm.
•That while I was searching for who I was, God already knew.
•That I am special and there is only one of me.

And the number one thing I wish I knew was…..

that Jesus is my best friend.

“Greater love has no man than this, than he lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13

Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and wants desperately for you to accept His offer of friendship. He is a friend who never leaves us or forsakes us.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Luke 4:8-10

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” Romans 5:10 (NLT)

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (NIV)

(This blog is written by Dawn, mentor with Restored by Love Ministries and was edited by Stephanie Lampman, Founder of Restored by Love Ministries)

Unleashed

I went on a retreat with the youth from my church this past weekend. The theme for the retreat was “Unleashed.” Going into the retreat I had no idea what that meant and I was wondering to myself why they were calling it Unleashed. I soon found out what that really meant.

You see we have things in our lives that keep us in bondage, things we place before our relationship with Christ. These can be anything– internet, phone, television, video games, boys, texting, cell phones, self harm, obsessive focus on weight, eating, and exercise, beauty, money, caring to much about what people might think, you name it. There are so many things in this world that we get hooked on and tied down to. We tend to put these things first in our lives when what really needs to be first is our relationship with God. We were reminded this weekend that we need to be unleashed of these things that are holding us back from being our best in Christ. One of the youth leaders on the trip unleashed from the notion that she had to wear makeup so she didn’t wear any make-up during the retreat. We all have things that we need to let go of and give to Christ, things we need to be unleashed from. It’s when we are truly become unleashed from those things that we find lasting freedom in Christ.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:15-19)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

So I ask you this….what do you need to be unleashed from? What is holding you back from your relationship with God? What is keeping you enslaved?